Well now we know why Gabe Newell hates the "walled garden" of W8!

  • 51 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Steam announced that it will be selling more than just game software, so look out for your favorite production software maybe coming to Steam in a future near you.

Now, this sounds kinda cool, although maybe a bit odd considering Steam is so gaming focused, so I wonder if there will be a homepage for non-gaming store stuff that you can opt in to replace the "gaming" store front so you don't just see photoshop burried in a sea of Bethesda game discounts.

But the big thing I want to address with this announcement is the recent statement made by Valve frontman Gabe Newell. Newell spoke in a fairly condemning light about Windows 8, the fast approaching new iteration of Microsoft's Windows operating system, calling it a "catastrophe," referencing fears that OEMs will be pushed away from supporting Windows 8 because of Microsoft's foray with a first party consumer computing device.

He also spoke to Windows 8 being a slippery slope towards a 'walled garden' ecosystem that would prevent true freedom and hedge innovation, despite evidence that Windows 8 allows every bit of software that Windows 7 did. In fact, Microsoft has a history of attempting to push the market around with DirectX 10, which was released on the Windows Vista operating system, but not made available to users still on the extremely popular Windows XP.

The only maintained or curated space on Windows 8 as it exists today is the Metro marketplace, which allows users to download and purchase simple apps designed for use only in Windows 8's "metro" interface. Metro is a sort of sidebar to the traditional desktop, sometimes even literally, acting almost as an evolved and officially supported Rainmeter, giving on the fly updates for various feeds. However, Metro is not accessible through the desktop kernel, nor are any of the apps. The closest a Metro App will every get to the desktop is when you split the screen, putting a metro app in the sidebar mode, which is essentially a window that is fixed in place on the side of your screen.

So the question must be asked: why is it that Gabe Newell really thinks Windows 8 will be so terrible? Why is he so convinced that their walled garden, which acts VERY similarly to Steam in that it is a box within a box, rather than a box that replaces the old, comfortable, happy box. It's more of an integration of the ecosystem Microsoft has been nurturing on it's other platforms, and bringing all of the pieces of the puzzle together at last, between the PC, the mobile device, and the Xbox platform.

I've personally used Windows 8 rather a lot. It's been a couple months at least since I switched over, and I wouldn't look back for a second. Why? Because in my experience, it's just been a nicely improved Windows 7. Whatever Gabe Newell may think, Windows 8 doesn't do anything to encourage a closed ecosystem. It was downright pleased to assist in the process of moving all of my files and applications over from Windows 7, and has continued to provide a lovely pasture in which my applications and files may frolic in peace and freedom. Only it's a greener, more vibrant and colorful pasture, with notifications, integration with an ecosystem I am eager to become a part of, which rivals and in some ways trumps the competition: Apple, a vastly improved file management system, a more attractive interface, wicked fast boot times, and improved multi-monitor support.

So I'm a bit baffled, honestly, as to why there's such a threat perceived by folks like Newell. Windows 8 is not to Windows 7 and Windows Phone 8 is to Windows Phone 7. It's not a new (well... different) kernel that won't be supported on older hardware and require new (...different) software that will only work on the newer of the two. It's much more akin to the way Apple has been handling OS updates: Small steps, cheap prices. And I'm pretty happy about that. I haven't noticed anything that would lead anyone to believe the things Gabe Newell is claiming.

So... Is he just coming out against it because he's behind a competing service? I'm not saying that is the case, not at all. It just seems a bit odd that he would come out against an OS that, fundamentally is the same other than the Metro addition, and then come out with something that serves as basically an app store for desktop apps.

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (35995 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

I've personally used Windows 8 rather a lot.

Huh? You have? Did it come out early or something? Is it available in limited capacity on smartphones? Are you a member of the press with easy access to this for reviews and stuff? I NEED DETAILS!

#3 Posted by Korwin (2828 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

I've personally used Windows 8 rather a lot.

Huh? You have? Did it come out early or something? Is it available in limited capacity on smartphones? Are you a member of the press with easy access to this for reviews and stuff? I NEED DETAILS!

The consumer and release previews have been available for free for months now.

#4 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

I've personally used Windows 8 rather a lot.

Huh? You have? Did it come out early or something? Is it available in limited capacity on smartphones? Are you a member of the press with easy access to this for reviews and stuff? I NEED DETAILS!

It's been available to mess around with for quite some time.

#5 Posted by Inkerman (1449 posts) -

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

#6 Posted by FreakAche (2949 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

Minesweeper gets you achievements! Achievements!

#7 Posted by corruptsaves (214 posts) -

I'm not to sure about what it entails but it's left me with a nagging feeling. So long as Steam has it's games and sales I'll be happy.

#8 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -
@Inkerman said:

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

You can buy your programs in a walled garden
#9 Posted by crusader8463 (14413 posts) -

You dare speak out against our Lord and one true God Newell? I WILL SEE YOU DRAWN AND QUARTERED!

As for the topic, I don't really care. Windows 8 looks like an abomination but it's the new windows and at some point I will have to buy it as Microsoft always goes out of their way to make artificial limitations to force people to buy the new model of the OS eventually. As for what they are doing on Steam, as long as they keep it separated from the games area and I don't have to start sifting through non game apps to get to the games I couldn't care less what they do.

#10 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

Someone correct me on this, but I think all the outrage from various developers, Gabe included, is what you need to do to get apps on Metro:

So, if you're an indie developer and you want to distribute a game for the Metro side of Windows 8, you're going to have to do the following.

  1. Sign up for a developer license.
  2. Package up your program and submit it to Microsoft.
  3. Wait for it to show up in the store before people can download it.

Alternatively, you can "sideload" a Metro app. But as a developer, you'll need to sign your package with a certificate before it can be installed on someone else's computer. And this is on top of setting your OS permissions to allow for sideloading.

Compare this with the traditional Windows (or any OS, for that matter) method of installation: running an installer.

I believe this only affects Metro, but besides splitting apps into two different categories (which is a totally different discussion), there's still the heated issue of how people are going to distribute Metro apps.

Granted, there's probably a ton of stuff you have to do to get something on Steam. Ditto with Apple's App Store. But if you wanted to distribute a Metro version of something like, say, Kerbal Space Program, and you just wanted people to download it from your website as a ZIP, you'd be SOL. At least that's the impression I'm getting.

#11 Posted by iAmJohn (6108 posts) -

@FreakAche said:

@Inkerman said:

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

Minesweeper gets you achievements! Achievements!

#gamechanger

#12 Posted by august (3827 posts) -

Bring me SteamOS.

#13 Posted by Arkasai (701 posts) -

Seems like a lot of people aren't willing to elaborate on their difficulties with Microsoft, but several big names like Newell and Blizzard's Rob Pardo have expressed concerns that there are signs the platform as a whole is creating more bars to entry for developers. This probably ties in with the Phil Fish "I can't afford to patch my game" fiasco as well, with indi devs having a much harder time penetrating the market going forward with Windows 8.

#14 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

Gabe hates windows 8 for no other reason then the more games being made the more games are put on Steam, and he gets paid less. And if Windows is a closed platform then less games are made and less games go on Steam, and he gets paid more. ( Although he probably gets paid the same no matter how much steam makes in a year )

#15 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Inkerman said:

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

Multimonitor support has been improved so the native experience is better, handling the taskbar much more elegantly, meaning I don't need a third party solution to help manage that experience.

Booting has been significantly improved, as most times you boot your PC it'll take a couple seconds for the OS to load rather than quite a few (it feels practically instant for me, the wait to get to the log in screen is next to nothing, even with my long post process), because they basically do some clever caching. The methods are less than magical but the results are pretty awesome if you don't leave your PC on. For laptop users it'll probably be pretty great.

Explorer has seen some pretty big improvements, particularly to copying, pasting, deleting, moving, etc. There's a lot more information given about what's going on, and merging folders is super slick now, letting you control the process as you go through a batch of content, rather than having to use a third party solution.

The task manager, not a huge deal for many people, but certainly for me, is hugely improved, with just a ton more detail as well as a much more friendly minimalist view option for those who just want to be able to end a running application without digging through processes and don't care about seeing performance data.

The Metro stuff is as much of a gimick as Rainmeter. To some people, both are dumb. Rainmeter was a bit of a resource hog (for what it was and what it did) and required a lot of setup to get it where you wanted it, and could be pretty janky. Metro does everything that Rainmeter does and more, without the performance footprint that Rainmeter has. I actually think stuff like the calander and email apps are pretty well designed, and it's awesome that they sync with Hotmail and Windows Phone devices. Plus, Metro Apps are allowed to push notifications over to the desktop side, so no matter what you are doing, you can get native notifications when you get emails, messages, set reminders on your calendar and see them come up as a notification, stuff like that.

I think there's been some general performance boosting that they talked about as well, better font rendering, bandwidth cap/limitation stuff that is pretty great for people with a low cap, etc.

Now, it may not be worthwhile for everyone, but it's $40 to upgrade, and it's not awful, and it's certainly not evil. I'd happily pay $40 just to get the improvements to the core W7 experience, and Metro, even if you don't like it, won't really detract from your experience with W8.

@Dagbiker said:

Gabe hates windows 8 for no other reason then the more games being made the more games are put on Steam, and he gets paid less. And if Windows is a closed platform then less games are made and less games go on Steam, and he gets paid more. ( Although he probably gets paid the same no matter how much steam makes in a year )

That'd be understandable if A) he wasn't rich as fuck, and B) there was ANY reason to believe windows will become closed. There simply isn't. Metro is a sidebar with a super low barrier for entry on the dev side. I fail to see how some silly extra side piece.

@Ubersmake: The thing is, none of those people need their shit to be on MS's store. Would it be cool to get it there? Sure! But they already have... well.. STEAM! Windows is not the Metro Marketplace. You can still make a normal app like a normal person would use on a normal installation of normal Windows 7. It makes no sense, because those people complaining are the last people that need to publish to the Metro Store. Would a Steam Metro app be kinda neat? Maybe! But I don't want my games launching from that interface, I already have steam, and that's where I want my games to be in the future. Metro isn't supposed to just be "another desktop app marketplace." The whole point is it's a different experience. Some people, believe it or not, prefer a curated experience. The iOS app store has done just fine for it's self. Plenty of people like it, and like that you don't just have random garbage on it tot he same extent you do with something like Indie Games on the XBL.

It's a seperate thing, and people keep acting like it's the primary way desktop users will use applications. It's simply not true. It's an ecosystem, one that encompasses other platforms, so no shit it's not going to be basically the desktop experience, but with restrictions. The apps on Metro are fundamentally different. And the needs of that market are very different. No one is stopping Steam from being a thing. They want Steam, because it is a big part of why they still control the market in a very major way. I don't get why this is going to ruin Windows, but when Apple tried to push for their app store to be THE way to access things like updates, that was merely "dumb." Not something that was going to "devastate the market." But when Windows wants to have a unique experience with different and TOTALLY SEPARATE rules from the desktop space, for people who want something like that, they are going to ruin the whole world and everyone's going to have shit pie for dinner and it's all Microsoft's fault.

@crusader8463: Well, you're in luck: first of all, the only time they used artificial restrictions recently, it meant you couldn't play like, two shitty games on XP, and there was a way around it. Second of all, Windows 8 really is just Windows 7. I can barely tell the difference in my day to day operations, other than managing my huge file system (I've been re-organizing a lot lately) being better than in the past. And third of all, because it's basically Windows 7, you'll be fine. Seriously, you'll more than likely never need to touch W8 if you don't want to spend the $40, and you'll be plenty happy because hey, Windows 7 is a great OS.

#16 Posted by Inkerman (1449 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Inkerman said:

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

Multimonitor support has been improved so the native experience is better, handling the taskbar much more elegantly, meaning I don't need a third party solution to help manage that experience.

Booting has been significantly improved, as most times you boot your PC it'll take a couple seconds for the OS to load rather than quite a few (it feels practically instant for me, the wait to get to the log in screen is next to nothing, even with my long post process), because they basically do some clever caching. The methods are less than magical but the results are pretty awesome if you don't leave your PC on. For laptop users it'll probably be pretty great.

Explorer has seen some pretty big improvements, particularly to copying, pasting, deleting, moving, etc. There's a lot more information given about what's going on, and merging folders is super slick now, letting you control the process as you go through a batch of content, rather than having to use a third party solution.

The task manager, not a huge deal for many people, but certainly for me, is hugely improved, with just a ton more detail as well as a much more friendly minimalist view option for those who just want to be able to end a running application without digging through processes and don't care about seeing performance data.

The Metro stuff is as much of a gimick as Rainmeter. To some people, both are dumb. Rainmeter was a bit of a resource hog (for what it was and what it did) and required a lot of setup to get it where you wanted it, and could be pretty janky. Metro does everything that Rainmeter does and more, without the performance footprint that Rainmeter has. I actually think stuff like the calander and email apps are pretty well designed, and it's awesome that they sync with Hotmail and Windows Phone devices. Plus, Metro Apps are allowed to push notifications over to the desktop side, so no matter what you are doing, you can get native notifications when you get emails, messages, set reminders on your calendar and see them come up as a notification, stuff like that.

I think there's been some general performance boosting that they talked about as well, better font rendering, bandwidth cap/limitation stuff that is pretty great for people with a low cap, etc.

Now, it may not be worthwhile for everyone, but it's $40 to upgrade, and it's not awful, and it's certainly not evil. I'd happily pay $40 just to get the improvements to the core W7 experience, and Metro, even if you don't like it, won't really detract from your experience with W8.

Ok, cool thanks. The reason I don't like Metro is because I don't think I'll use it. I don't use similar apps on my phone or tablet, but I do use (and love) Rainmeter. Do you know if Metro will offer the same levels of customisation? The better multi-monitor support is definitely of interest to me.

#17 Posted by Shivoa (607 posts) -

If you want to use the Steam API you have to be SteamPowered (Steam store purchasable with cut going to Valve of each sale).

If you want to use the (not)Metro API you have to be Windows 8 Store certified and distributed (with MS getting a cut)

If you want to use Direct X, Win32 or the host of other ('desktop') APIs MS offer (and have offered a b/c chain for almost two decades of APIs) then you can continue to go about your business just as before; it's only if you want to go via the new (not)Metro API (with its power- and screen-sharing cooperative design, tablet accessibility, and so on) that you have to fight into the walled garden. This is a bad thing, walled gardens are crappy for everyone (users lose freedom, developers lose freedom, auth for the walled garden requires DRM on everything) and hopefully MS will see the light and realise that developers will want to sell a product on a Windows store, they don't need to ransom their new API to enforce it. The PC is vibrant because it isn't locked down, that is why IBM Compatible (into WIntel) has been a thing for my entire lifetime; you cannot kill the free phoenix.

This is looking a bit like as if Amazon had beaten Google to the punch with an app store for Android and then started throwing the toys out of the pram when Google hypothetically announced their new Android revision was going to come with Google Market/Play.

I won't be coding to Metro because it is closed and I believe in the freedom of users. I don't have any immediate plans to upgrade to Windows 8 as DX11.1 is coming to Win7 but I expect I'll get a tablet once the Intel $25 SoC has a compelling hardware offering next year and that'll be Windows 8. If I feel like I should reinstall the OS on one of my computers I'll probably move to Win8 at that time, my time playing around with it makes it feel like Win7 in all the important ways (hit Windows button, type program name, hit enter; workflow for using start menu unchanged despite visual change).

#18 Posted by JoeyRavn (4948 posts) -

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

... keep talking.

#19 Edited by AndrewB (7490 posts) -

They aren't *just* putting metro apps on the marketplace, from what I remember of all the talk on WIndows Weekly. Eventually they plan on selling everything possible through there, including legacy x86 apps.

But I agree that the whole Gabe/Valve situation is weird. What Gabe wants is for Steam to dominate everything as a content delivery platform. This is a threat to a plan that he probably had in the works since before Microsoft announced their plans, and I'm sure it was probably a blow to see that vision threatened. On the one hand, it's hypocritical to be calling Microsoft out for their move because all Valve wants to be is its own monopoly. On the other, Microsoft, like Apple before it, have shown everyone a raw deal by forcing them into an ecosystem they have no choice but to use where they lose a significant cut of their profits. They're stifling competition for potential third-party software distribution platforms.

Edit: I mean "the apps formerly known as metro styled apps" due to the pending litigation.

#20 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Shivoa: Again, it's not supposed to be the freedom loving wild wild west. The point of a walled garden is that you can ensure that the bullshit is kept out. There's no need for the store in W8 to be more open, there just isn't. That is what the desktop is for. Some people, not myself included, prefer that sort of ecosystem, because it keeps out the shit like "my first programming thing." Which is totally understandable. Your first half of your comment makes the rest kind of silly. As long as you continue to exist in the normal desktop realm, you'll be fine. If you want to get into the metro way of things, yes, you will need to jump through some hoops first. But most people who want to really produce something worthwhile in that ecosystem are going to be willing to do that, and people who just want to play with the tools won't really. We have plenty of duders on the site here that are more than willing to jump through the pretty minor hoops to get their app on ecosystems like iOS or WP7. If you want to make something that is open and free and available to the world, make it the way people have been doing that since the beginning. If you want to get into the mobile marketplace and all that, you'll have to go through the walled garden, which isn't the worst thing, because the last thing I want to have to navigate on my non-desktop computer is a plethora of pointless, useless apps. Freedom IS good, but it hasn't been taken away, they've just given a place for more sheltered users to go and make use of stuff. It's not like there won't be any homebrew coolness on the Store. We already have a user working on a Giantbomb app for Metro based on the Release Preview stuff, and maybe their experience wasn't the best, I don't know, but they've gotten to the point where they are making and designing their app, and I'm sure we'll totally see it on the marketplace. Curation isn't the devil, it's like Certification is for consoles. It ensures you aren't just breaking the law or trying to sell some silly experiment you did in class some day, cluttering up the marketplace with things that shouldn't be there and are of no use to anyone.

#21 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Metro *is* going to be what people are using. That's the push that Microsoft is making, with having it on Windows 8, and having a separate distribution of Windows 8 (Windows RT) that will only run on ARM devices and will only run Metro. Maybe you and I won't be using it. But if you know or care little about computers, are going to buy a PC (as opposed to a Mac, or building your own), and are going to be running Windows 8, you will be using Metro. Because, to be fair, Metro is going to be all a lot of people need, and it's going to be the first thing they see.

OS X's App Store, like Steam, is just a way to distribute software. What Microsoft is doing with Windows 8, by treating Metro and the traditional desktop as two separate things, would be like Apple coming out and putting iOS and OS X on the same computer, and then pushing the iOS side. This wouldn't ruin Apple, but it would marginalize OS X, and put future growth of that environment at risk.

And that's the fear here, or at least my fear. It is stupid easy to release binaries for Windows right now. Same with OS X. Same with Linux. It's super dangerous, too, if I had more malicious intents. But if this way of distributing software gets marginalized, if users won't bother downloading my stuff because they are perfectly happy with Metro and don't want to look at the other side of Windows, then I'll have to relinquish some of my control over how I distribute things, and hand it over to Microsoft.

Metro isn't going to destroy Microsoft. I'm sure the company will do just fine. What it has the potential to do is change how developers get software to people. If there is more money flowing through Metro, just because more people are using it (and we're talking about *all* Windows 8 users here, not our small subset of gamers and tech-enthusiasts), then that's where developers are going to go, and they're going to give up some control to do it.

#22 Posted by Hamst3r (4451 posts) -

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

Can we call it Locomotive?

#23 Posted by burnttoast (27 posts) -

It is slightly strange to think of two different markets for windows programs. The metro apps and the standard windows applications where the rules of how either can be sold are very different. I understand how it has gotten to this point, it is because of apple and the app store but it is a very strange place to be.

Right now it doesn't matter much, there is a very clear line between what is metro and what is windows. I don't think steam cares at all about angry birds or weather channel apps on metro. But I presume at some point that line will get a little bit blurry, I can think of ways that a serious productivity application might what to have some touchscreen/metro features. And it seems like if a company wanted to go down that route it becomes a mess. I think I agree with Gabe's statement here that it is wall that is being constructed. It is a wall that prevents the more traditional applications (ie not phone apps) from adding features of the touchscreen/tablet/metro.

I think microsoft can successfully claim that they beat apple in enterprise pc (and general) because they had an open software ecosystem. Right now there is a clear distinction between apps (phones/metro) and applications (windows programs) so I think they do not feel that are harming that open software ecosystem that got them where they are. I am imagining from their point of view they see all the money the apple app store is making and want some. But I don't think that distinction of apps vs applications will mean as much in 5 or 10 years. By introducing this new marketplace they are hampering the organic, continued flurishment of that software ecosystem.

#24 Posted by CornBREDX (4805 posts) -

Because Windows 8 is shit. It looks like it's made for a touch screen. It's really ugly too.  
I'm ok with windows and Icons and not pretending my PC is anything but a PC. Both Apple and Microsoft really are working towards towards making their OS more appealing to the casual non PC literate consumer, which is fine. But it's not actually easier to use for idiots (trust me, I work in tech support) and will only be worse when it comes out and I have to help people who have it. I am not looking forward to that. 
 
If they cut off the "metro" garbage and just have a desktop and start menu then I'd probably be fine with it.  
I guess I really only don't like the UI, I don't know anything about Win 8 back end. You aren't going to sell me on it, though.

#25 Posted by Shivoa (607 posts) -

@burnttoast: Agreed, and they could offer (not)Metro API and the Windows Store with Windows 8 without being restrictive and locking it up, that would still generate a lot of revenue from developers interested in selling their products via the store that comes installed in 100% of non-enterprise copies of Windows 8. Every new machine comes with a 'Store' button to give the developer money, they can tell any user just to search the store for their app name and have an easy payment option (possibly with the consumer's credit card on file to make that process even lower friction than just being a trusted store so the user feels comfortable not giving a random website their payment details). Microsoft don't need to force this to make a lot of money, they just need to make a decent 70/30 split and evangelise all these positives to developers.

#26 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

@Ubersmake said:

Granted, there's probably a ton of stuff you have to do to get something on Steam. Ditto with Apple's App Store. But if you wanted to distribute a Metro version of something like, say, Kerbal Space Program, and you just wanted people to download it from your website as a ZIP, you'd be SOL. At least that's the impression I'm getting.

I'm pretty the submission process is only for getting your app/game into the Metro/Windows store (equivalent to the App Store or Steam). I don't think it applies to the entire realm of Windows program development. So you could totally make Kerbel Space Program for Windows 8 and distribute it as a free-wheelin' zip, but it won't show in the Windows Store app. Unless I've really missed something, or am reading what you wrote wrong.

#27 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Ubersmake: And on those tablets, it'll just be a tablet OS, just like the rest, probably much more like Android than iOS in terms of what it'll allow, judging by WP7. The point of this discussion is Windows PCs. Windows 8 and Windows RT are not the same OS, or product. They are entirely different, and have very different purposes. On top of that, there is nothing stopping tablets from running the full Windows 8 experience, as long as they have the hardware to do it (which has already been done with Windows 7). So no, it isn't what people will be using with Windows 8. Yes, it'll be what people use if all they have is RT, but that's a different thing entirely. And it's not any worse than the competition in terms of being closed and shitty.

And lets be clear, the only reason Metro is being talked up is because A) it's the biggest addition, and B) it needs the most convincing. It's not being "pushed" in the sense that MS wants everyone to only ever use Metro apps, but rather to encourage people into the Windows ecosystem so they might for example buy a Windows Phone 7, which has a marketplace that I assume gives a pretty good idea of how the Windows Marketplace will work.

The people who will stay with Metro by choice rather than Desktop apps (this includes desktop apps that are sold through the Store Ecosystem, which can be sold however the publisher pleases), then either the majority of people making software they care about are already used to mobile development and not desktop development. Otherwise, the consumer is going to stay with the desktop primarily because it's where the kinds of apps they want are going to run. Metro apps are too limited to act like everything and anything is going to run on Metro, and everythign and anything will have to be exclusive to it. Plenty of people make plenty of money without selling their software on some weird closed ecosystem on PCs today. I don't see an HTML 5 based platform changing that any time soon, and I think it's silly to just assume that that is going to happen. Is it possible? Sure. That doesn't make the OS shit just because it's possible to be paranoid about it.

@CornBREDX: Have ya used it? It's identical to Windows 7, it's not shitty at all. The only changes are taking away Aero (easily changed with a theme which I'm sure will be available before most consumers get their grubby little paws on copies of the final software. Seriously, if you don't want the Metro stuff, it's just not there. Use your desktop and taskbar for applications, never hit the start menu like a normal human, and boom, you have an improved Windows 7. If you think I'm lying that it feels just like Windows 7 with some cool improvements because I never touch Metro, I'm not. The only metro I see are the occasional charm popup when I want to get to the control panel quickly, the volume thingy that comes up when I use my mouse to adjust the volume (pretty cool, that never happened in W7, and I appreciate seeing the actual levels), and the pleasing new log in screen, which I don't think you even really have to see, except maybe on hard restarts, but I'm not sure if it's absolutely needed there if you only ever want to have one user on there. Still, that login screen is just a customizable wallpaper with a couple log in options. Very functional and looks great to boot.

What looks like shit to you is Metro, which isn't something you need to touch really at all to use the computer just as you do now. So stop saying "Windows 8 is shit" because Windows 8 is just Windows 7 with some good upgrades under the hood and an optional ecosystem on the side. So if Windows 8 is shit, so is Windows 7, because they share about 90% of the same DNA.

@AndrewB: You're right about desktop apps being available in the Store, but they will also be available elsewhere a good 90% of the time, unless some weird bit of software decides to only sell in the Windows Store, which would be silly. And just the existence of that app marketplace isn't going to prevent people from buying things outside of that ecosystem. If anything, it'll be hard to get people to switch, as we saw with Apple's implementation. That's why I think the Metro apps, that actually run on the Metro side of things and aren't desktop applications at all, are the key to this not being a total failure, and I believe that they will be the main success (if there is any at all) on the store. It'll be the stuff you can't get anywhere else and won't be able to run except in the Metro system that'll be important, not the desktop apps you can also get on the Store. I mean, it'd be cool if I could buy all of my software through the store, get updates for everything automatically, have an easy way to launch and re-acquire them, pay for them all in one place, but I kind of already am happy with how I puchase software. No one really buys enough non gaming software to make this a game changer. You aren't sitting there buying 20 different production suites a year, you buy one of the couple of fields you deal in every few years. So it's not a hassle to just buy it directly from the publisher or somewhere like Amazon.

#28 Posted by pekarn (86 posts) -

@FreakAche said:

@Inkerman said:

How is it improved over Windows 7? Apart from the 'Metro style' thing, which I think is just a gimmick.

Minesweeper gets you achievements! Achievements!

Oh man, what a gamechanger. I know what I'll be doing for hours after installing Win8.

#29 Posted by TwoLines (2788 posts) -

You know, I always thought the graph looked kind of like this:

Linux- far left of the graph, free and fully customizable. You can install it everywhere. It's the people's platform, everybody can use it, and it's free. Unfortunately, it's harder to use and it is not a popular platform.

Windows- middle, you pay for the product, moderately customizable. It has its restrictions, but it's easier to use than Linux, and it's not as limited as iOS. Untill now, my platform of choice.

iOS- far right, you get the software with the purchased item. Easiest use, much style and it's hip. However, it's very limited and the company is very, very greedy. I would never choode iOS.

So why would Windows slowly roll down the graph towards the right side? It will loose a fair ammount of its users. iOS already exists. Yes, they are making LOADS of money, but they have their established audience. People that buy "i" products will still buy "i" products, that's how Apple rolls. Who is Microsoft trying to rope in with all this? What's the strategy behind this move? Baffling.

The closer Windows is to the iOS side of the graph, the closer I will have to move to the left, which hopefully will move Linux a little bit to the middle (more popular among devs, more games, better interface).

#30 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

@Hamst3r said:

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

Can we call it Locomotive?

What about the steam engine?

#31 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4283 posts) -

@scarace360 said:

@Hamst3r said:

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

Can we call it Locomotive?

What about the steam engine?

I approve of this.

#32 Posted by Raven10 (1726 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: If what people are saying is true then having Metro apps require certification and such is going to be a pain. You say that you don't have to be on that storefront, but the thing is, if it takes off and a lot of people use it then suddenly you cut out a large chunk of your potential audience by not supporting it. You also say there is a low barrier to entry. I'm not so certain about that. The cost of getting a game on Xbox 360 is staggering. The SDK itself costs more than the budget of many Indie games. If the costs for Metro were similar than it would devastate the indie market. Even if it weren't, the word certification fills indie developer's hearts with terror. Cert processes on consoles again cost more than the budget of most indie games, and if the cert requirements for Metro are anything like those on Xbox than developers are going to be severely limited. Now maybe the service will be a complete failure and no one will use it, but if costs are anything compared to those on a console then Metro is very limiting. If it is more like Apple's App Store then fine. But if we are talking Xbox style then expect a great loss in sales.

Final point is that merely toeing in this direction is a bad move for indie developers. Windows has always succeeded because anyone could put anything on the system. There were no licenses needed, no cert processes to go through. Now I get that this will still be an option on Windows 8, but say Metro is a big success. What happens then to Windows 9? At what point does the whole system become Metro and the old way of doing things go away? That is what Gabe's fear is. It has nothing to do with money. He has been bashing Microsoft for moving in this direction since WIndows Vista came out. Remember that he used to be one of the main designers of Windows. He founded Valve off the money he made making WIndows in the 90's. I think it is hard for him to see something that he helped create and nurture for a decade turn into something he despises. Can you really blame him?

#33 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Raven10: Looking at the xbox division as to how the Windows/Mobile division operate is silly. The xbox division is so far removed from the rest of Microsoft duder. There are people on this site that can put apps out both on WP7 AND Metro, right now. Like, they are working on releasing or have released apps. I also meant in terms of creating a DEDICATED metro app, not a desktop app that happens to be sold through the same store, because the language used is very easy and common. A child could probably make a pretty decent app for Metro, honestly. On top of that, especially when WP8 comes out, apps will be easy to port between platforms, so an app on your phone can be tweaked for your PC without a port process like you'd see going from PS3 to Xbox 360, for example.

Again, you aren't going to lose any sort of sales just because you don't put your stuff on the Windows Store. We already know that traditional apps simply don't sell in a way that means that a desktop marketplace becomes the singular place to buy from. Apple already tried it, and it didn't totally fail, but it didn't stop sales outside of that market at all, just gave people another option as to where they could buy content. Again, I highly doubt the Metro Store will be that popular for desktop apps. Metro apps? Sure! I hope so anyway. But the thing is, you already know what you're getting into with that. Metro apps will be a part of a curated system. There is no way around that, no doubt about it. So if you want to go into that ecosystem, you already know what you're getting into and have decided it's not that big of a deal.

You are making assumptions about something that will not even be possible to come to fruition for at least half a decade, probably more like a decade, and it's pure guess work. There is no indication what so ever that the store will take off and be some wildly successful, market dominating source for content. It'll launch with a few exclusives, and then after that probably just stick to Metro/ported WP apps, as well as being an alternative for some of the major bits of software from folks like Adobe. All signs point to the store being mildly successful, but not in a way that really changes the landscape by much. It'll be a tiny upset, rather than this eventual doomsday scenario everyone is so very keen on. It's like people WANT things to go wrong, because things are, generally speaking, pretty damn great right now.

As usual, the members of the internet stick to making assumptions based on fears rather than logic, and talk down to things they've never experienced. I'm willing to bet most of the people posting in this thread against W8 haven't even bothered to try it, and I'm also willing to bet they didn't have the same response to Apple's much more crude attempt at a much more closed app marketplace on their desktop OS, not because they are fanboys but just because that's how things seem to work.

And, no, he has not been bashing windows for being closed "since vista". He may have spoken out against a specific choice that they made that directly related to his business (exclusive nature of the most recent, at the time, version of DirectX), but other than that he hasn't had ANY cause at ALL against MS for closing off their Windows platform to developers and publishers of any sort of software, because nothing has been done in the slightest to hinder that other than the restricting DirectX 10 to Vista (which did next to nothing because as a result, no one made DX10 content, because they knew it would mess with their profits). He said recently that Windows 7 is a great OS and he's happy to stick with it.

@TwoLines: You STILL don't understand it, do you? Metro isn't going to take the fuckin' desktop away duder. It's STILL JUST WINDOWS YOU GUYS. REALLY. IT'S NOT A MAGICAL LIE EVERYONE WHO'S USED THE OS PROPERLY (ie, not just using it for 5 minutes to make a video shitting on how terrible it is because that's the cool thing to think) IS TELLING. IT'S REALLY JUST WINDOWS WITH SOME NEW FEATURES.

Windows will survive, and if you use Windows 7 now, and upgrade to Windows 8, you know what? You're going to get pretty much the same quality of experience, better if you make use of the under the hood improvements like a much better explorer/task manager, etc. Windows 8 is not a fucking atom bomb of shackles about to stop you from using the shit you want to use. Saying that it will be that is literally just you making shit up, or copying some other asshole who made shit up, or copied another asshole. You have no reason to believe that the desktop marketplace will change at ALL, that suddenly MS is going to say "oh, sorry Steam, you aren't allowed to exist on our platform any more." If things go the way you people seem to think, it won't be Windows 8 that does it.

#34 Posted by Korwin (2828 posts) -

@BabyChooChoo said:

@scarace360 said:

@Hamst3r said:

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

Can we call it Locomotive?

What about the steam engine?

I approve of this.

Steamix

#35 Posted by ProfessorEss (7280 posts) -

@Raven10 said:

It has nothing to do with money.

You don't honestly believe this do you?

#36 Posted by Raven10 (1726 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: I honestly don't know the sdk costs for Metro. I haven't looked into it as of yet. I'm just saying that if the costs were to approach the costs of Xbox development it would be very restrictive. I honestly have never seen the need to develop for Windows phones since their penetration level is so low so I really don't know much about that either. I know that Windows Phone games with achievements have to go through a more rigorous cert process than those that don't. Exactly what that entails I'm not really sure. The App Store on iOS lets pretty much any App on that doesn't break the device and doesn't contain illegal or highly offensive content. There are no rules to follow. Your app can do anything and act in almost any way. Compare that to the cert requirements for a console game and it is night and day. My understanding is that to get achievements you need to go through at least part of that process even on phones. I would assume the same would be true of Metro as well. Again I haven't looked into it since my company has limited resources and it doesn't make sense to support a platform as unproven as Metro, especially because of, as you noted, the Mac App store failure.

#37 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1490 posts) -

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

Why does that sound so enticing.

#38 Posted by Raven10 (1726 posts) -

@ProfessorEss: If you think Gabe cares about becoming rich then ask yourself why he hasn't taken Valve public. Right now he makes about the same as any member of Valve. If he went public he would probably earn several billion dollars. He owns 51% of a company estimated to be worth between $4 and $5 billion. Not to mention that he gave up his fortune to start Valve. Yea, Valve does make a ton of money but the company has never been about the money. Have you read the literature they give to new hires at Valve? It specifically says that the quality of the product always comes before its profit potential. Gabe has absolutely never been about making money. He does it for the love of gaming. If he really wanted to make his billions he could do so easily, get out of the company, retire and live like a king for the rest of his life. He doesn't do that though. He's also never accepted outside funding. All Valve games have been funded by earnings from other Valve games, and from Gabe's wallet in the early days. Again, they could have expanded, taken the hundreds of millions in funding they have been offered. But they refused because they knew that taking funding would mean that they would have to make a decent profit on every release made with that money. Since they never sacrifice quality for profit they have refused outside funding since the beginning. So yes, I do honestly believe that it isn't about the money. Not every company is out to get you. There are still a lot of great people running successful businesses in this world.

#39 Posted by Shivoa (607 posts) -

@Raven10: Right now it costs exactly $0.00 to get all developer tools and a license (to sign your code and access the store). So nothing like the cost of a XDK kit (inc dev units) and the ongoing costs of xbox publishing.

Open (and semi-open) platforms are often monetised this way. I don't pay a penny for the Direct X SDK (beyond the license for Windows in general); the customer pays for it via their Windows license. By making software that uses Direct X, I increase the value of the Windows license by my game being available to purchase on that platform.

You should probably look at that iOS $100/year dev license details, it most certainly isn't "...any App on that doesn't break the device and doesn't contain illegal or highly offensive content. There are no rules to follow. Your app can do anything and act in almost any way." Talk to Google about their 'Chrome' product and why they have to use the javascript un-acelerated version of the Safari rendering engine rather than using any of their own code for their 'browser' on iOS. Talk to anyone who has tried to create a store or even sold stuff directly via in-app purchases that don't give Apple a cut of each sale. Then find the many, many people who have been blocked from selling apps for no good reason (including the laughable 'duplicating existing functionality' for apps clearly offering a different service). And because iOS is a closed platform, the only people who are able to avoid the mandatory store/DRM platform are people who have rooted their device, a practice Apple actively tries to prevent and break with their official updates. Apple have not sold a single iOS device, you simply license it from them and they say what code you can and cannot run. Freedom means the right to buy/write, execute, and modify software as you see fit on your hardware as long as you break no laws; this is what the PC has always had and people are justifiably worried about losing it from Windows with this Metro move. Even the xbox 360, with XNA, is more open than an iOS device (that walled garden is peer reviewed and with at most a light, automated official cert pass from MS, if any; entry into the annual DBP comes with 12 months free access to using your home 360 as a dev unit to deploy console builds; the SDK is freely released with no fee and can build to Windows without any annual costs to developers) and that is saying something (the console business model is razor-blades and so is very closed to protect that initial sale of hardware possibly below cost to produce).

#40 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

As much as I like Metro, a Windows 8 release seems really fucking early in the cycle.

#41 Edited by theManUnknown (151 posts) -

People keep looking to iOS as a model for the emerging Windows 8 ecosystem, and while I can see the reasoning behind that (the iPhone app store being far and away the most successful walled garden as of yet) I think the better comparison is with the Mac App Store. No mac user is obligated to participate in that ecosystem just by using a mac, but nonetheless it's proven so successful an ecosystem that I hear of people freely buying the same application a second time or more just to insure that they may access that software through that environment. At no point is a developer "forced" to put their software on the mac app store, but it's fast becoming financial suicide for him not to do so regardless. Yet at the same time, I see developers getting increasingly frustrated at the restrictions that environment places upon them—your app's never going to be featured or significantly promoted if it's too expensive for apple's tastes, your app has to be sandboxed, and so on and so forth. There's better literature on that subject freely available elsewhere online that discusses the matter more thoroughly.

This is the pattern I see the Windows Store fitting into more appropriately. At best, it remains like the Mac App Store, and at worse it only moves even more towards a walled garden approach. It's true that with Windows 8 itself Microsoft is allowing people to still "live" on the desktop, but I sincerely doubt that is the final step of their ambitions concerning this new ecosystem. In fact, I'd rather think it only the first.

The desktop continues to persist on Windows 8 because Microsoft is able to recognize that would be a catastrophe and would stop anyone from actually embracing the system. No one is going to embrace an entirely new ecosystem overnight, so Microsoft has already accepted that: they're not forcing anyone to fully embrace (not)Metro right out of the gate. But one has to be utterly delusional to not think their ultimate ambition is for Metro to eventually supplant the desktop. The simple fact of the matter is that they have no financial incentive (and that is the only incentive a company like Microsoft deals with) to deliberately preserve the desktop if there is any possible chance they can replace it with their own environment where they make the rules and get a cut of every transaction. It doesn't need to happen immediately—Microsoft is a patient company. It only needs happen eventually. Maybe not 8 or 9, but possibly 10 or 11 or even beyond that.

Gabe is just being a shrewd businessman and company owner in realizing that Windows is only going to grow more hostile to Valve and Steam as time goes on, and before that ship sinks, he better have another one to jump to. Even if he has to build it himself.

i.e.

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

#42 Posted by probablytuna (3534 posts) -

I expected an answer on why Gabe Newell hates the walled garden of Windows 8 as suggested by the title. I did not receive that answer.

#43 Posted by believer258 (11632 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

I've personally used Windows 8 rather a lot.

Huh? You have? Did it come out early or something? Is it available in limited capacity on smartphones? Are you a member of the press with easy access to this for reviews and stuff? I NEED DETAILS!

If you're still interested, here. It's a free beta.

Anyway, I tried it and... it's Windows. With a funny new gadget in the form of Metro, the same Metro that's made my Xbox's dashboard a nightmare to navigate but is much better with a capable computer and a mouse - but still not better than the Windows setup they already had.

Honestly, I wish MS would have stuck to Windows 7 and not changed shit around. I hate that. I understand that the changes made for Vista and 7 made for a better OS, and that's great, but I'd rather not have them push some changes on me every few years. Ugh.

#44 Edited by AlexW00d (6182 posts) -

@thabigred said:

As much as I like Metro, a Windows 8 release seems really fucking early in the cycle.

It's no different to the time between any windows release. Every three years since Windows 95.

E: except the 6 years between XP and Vista. Whoops.

#45 Edited by Gaff (1650 posts) -

@Raven10 said:

@ProfessorEss: If you think Gabe cares about becoming rich then ask yourself why he hasn't taken Valve public.

Because Gabe does whatever the hell Gabe wants. If he wants to spend close to six years "working on" Episode 3 / Half Life 3, fine. Buy a development studio (or more succinctly, hire everyone involved in an IP and the IP itself so you never have to pay them a share of the profits or risk losing the IP), fine. Not having to justify your decisions to shareholders, nor inform anyone how much you made, fine.

Every business that makes itself out to be "consumers first" or any ethical leanings - whether it's your friendly hippie bio-green grocer, the smiling milk man, or Valve - is in it for the money. Of course, it's easier to swallow when they lure you into paying with a smile instead of bullying you, in the end they still want your money.

And if that sounds naive, it's still not quite as naive as to believe the marketingspeak coming out of Microsoft concerning the Metro interface, or any marketingspeak for that matter.

#46 Posted by Shivoa (607 posts) -

@Gaff: Yes, you just believe that every single person in the world is 100% profit driven. If someone refuses to kill for a fee then it's just that the fee isn't high enough to justify the chances of the getting caught. Ethics are a myth.

Companies that aim to lose money are not going to be companies forever (but with VC and rich backers it can last for quite a long time) and most of them that explicitly aim to not turn a profit will register as charities for tax reasons but the idea that all companies only operate to maximise profits (is that short term or long term?) is laughable. I feel sorry for the world you have created for yourself from that weird idea. I bet it feels like everyone is out the get you, just remember that if you ever feel like it is getting too much for you then the doctors aren't just out there to take as much money from you as they can; you might talk to them if you feel like you're getting increasingly isolated and need help.

Stay safe.

#47 Posted by Scrawnto (2434 posts) -

@Shivoa said:

@Gaff: Yes, you just believe that every single person in the world is 100% profit driven. If someone refuses to kill for a fee then it's just that the fee isn't high enough to justify the chances of the getting caught. Ethics are a myth.

Companies that aim to lose money are not going to be companies forever (but with VC and rich backers it can last for quite a long time) and most of them that explicitly aim to not turn a profit will register as charities for tax reasons but the idea that all companies only operate to maximise profits (is that short term or long term?) is laughable. I feel sorry for the world you have created for yourself from that weird idea. I bet it feels like everyone is out the get you, just remember that if you ever feel like it is getting too much for you then the doctors aren't just out there to take as much money from you as they can; you might talk to them if you feel like you're getting increasingly isolated and need help.

Stay safe.

For sure. I'd go so far as to say that most game developers are in it to make just enough money that they can keep making games. If they do make more than they were expecting, they usually plow it back into the company to make bigger and better games instead of stuffing it into their pockets like bank executives. It's certainly not about getting rich quick. There are better ways to do that than making games, unless you happen to create Minecraft, of course. No one expects to do that, though.

: I still haven't figured out the disgust people have over Windows 8. I've been running it for months myself. 97% of the time, if I took a screenshot, it would look just like Windows 7, but with slightly more squared edges. The new Task Manager really is great, though. Just that is nearly worth the price of admission for me. I use 7 at work and 8 at home. 8 is just a collection of small improvements and then Metro instead of a start menu. And I have to say, I don't miss the start menu at all. The nested folders were always a clumsy solution to finding applications. The one good thing about it, the search bar, is even better in Metro.

#48 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1803 posts) -

@august said:

Bring me SteamOS.

This. I theorize that it is why Valve is even bothering with Linux.

#49 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

@thabigred said:

As much as I like Metro, a Windows 8 release seems really fucking early in the cycle.

It's no different to the time between any windows release. Every three years since Windows 95.

E: except the 6 years between XP and Vista. Whoops.

Windows 7 feels as good as XP which is why I wish it lasted longer.

#50 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Scrawnto: Yeah. Exactly how I feel about it. I think Metro is fine, and the upgrade to the search is pretty great. It still work the same way, but the new search stuff is cool and very useful. And, metro gives me a sort of desktop for my app icons without having to clutter up my desktop with icons (I disable the icons on mine, have since I started using Windows 7). Windows 8 isn't really a new OS, it's just a sort of expansion, and priced appropriately. Yet still people act like it's some evil, awful thing. I don't get it.

@thabigred said:

@AlexW00d said:

@thabigred said:

As much as I like Metro, a Windows 8 release seems really fucking early in the cycle.

It's no different to the time between any windows release. Every three years since Windows 95.

E: except the 6 years between XP and Vista. Whoops.

Windows 7 feels as good as XP which is why I wish it lasted longer.

Think of it more like the OSX style upgrades. The core is the same, it just got a sort of major patch that adds features. It's still Windows 7 at it's core, and there's a reason why Windows 8 is such a cheap upgrade.

@theManUnknown: I was under the impression that traditional applications sell just fine off of the Mac store, but I could be wrong. I never thought that that app store really took off in any meaningful way, considering it was kind fo a negative experience in some ways to every side of the equation.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.